Babraham sign Concordat on Openness on Animal Research
The Babraham Institute has joined forces with other institutes, universities, charities, umbrella bodies, pharmaceutical and health science companies, in signing a concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK. The Concordat, which is a result of intense collaboration and input from a vast number of stakeholders, serves to promote best practice within the bioscience community by encouraging transparency and openness within animal research.
The Concordat, which is published on 14 May 2014, is underpinned by an agreement that communication about animal research should provide accurate descriptions of the benefits, harms and limitations of research, be realistic about the potential outputs of such research and be open about its impact on animal welfare and the ethical considerations involved. The final Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK is signed by 72 organisations (including the Babraham Institute) from across the scientific sector. In signing the Concordat, we agree to undertaken to fulfil the Concordat’s four commitments:
- We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research
- We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals
- We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals
- We will report on progress annually and share our experiences
The Concordat was informed by a public dialogue project and a workshop with journalists and a draft Concordat was opened for a six-week public consultation at the end of 2013. Wendy Jarrett, Chief Executive of Understanding Animal Research and Chair of the Working Group, said: “For many years, the only ‘information’ or images that the public could access about animal research were provided by organisations opposed to the use of animals in scientific progress. This is why many people still think that animal research means testing cosmetics and tobacco, despite the fact that these have been banned in the UK for more than 15 years. The Concordat is an excellent opportunity to dispel these myths and give the public a chance to see the ground-breaking research that is being done on its behalf.”
Director of the Babraham institute, Professor Michael Wakelam, comments, “The Concordat is a welcome initiative which we are pleased to support. As a publically funded research institute, Babraham is committed to engagement and transparency on all aspects of its research. We fully support openness in animal research in the UK and are pleased to sign up to the commitments presented here.”
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Notes to Editors:
About the Babraham Institute:
The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, health and well-being and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.